Lets Talk Sex with Maureen McCarthy LSW

Podcast Cover: Lets Talk Sex with Maureen McCarthy LSW
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Listen in on Episode 12 featuring Maureen McCarthy, (Licensed Social Worker/LSW), and co-hosts Kira Yakubov, LMFT (Founder and Lead Therapist), and Daniela Galdi (Health & Wellness Professional).

PART 1‍‍What we wished we learned in Sex Ed class and what we were scared to ask in school.

PART 2Let’s talk porn; From discovering what turns you on and how to express that to your partner. All the way to tips for parents on navigating conversations about porn with their kids.

PART 3 Learning to step outside your comfort zone in order to explore your sexuality and knowledge of sex. How to find events, classes, and workshops in your city. ‍

Some episode highlights include…
Tips for parents on how to discuss the topic of porn with their kids in a healthy and non judgemental way.
Reclaiming your power through words and sexuality.
Tips on how to feel more confident to share your desire for sexual exploration with your partner.
Resources for educational porn for adults.
“Orgasm Order Form” – Sharing with partners specifically what turns you on.
How to find workshops, classes, and events for sex education in your city.
Learning about lube, sex toys, and visiting sex shops.
Safe spaces to explore and expand your sexual knowledge within the community.
Ways to invite kink into your life.


More About Maureen…
Maureen McCarthy is a Licensed Social Worker based in Central Pennsylvania. She graduated from Shippensburg University with her Master’s in Social Work and is certified in ‘Affirmative Therapy for Transgender Communities’ from Widener University.

Maureen has extensive experience working with gender expansive and sexually diverse individuals, including but not limited to the LGBTQIIA+, Polyam/CNM and BDSM/kink communities. In addition, to folks facing life transitions, stress, self-esteem issues, anxiety, depression, and trauma.


  • Expand for Podcast Transcript

    Kira Yakubov  0:00

    Join us for a spicy and unfiltered episode. We talk about porn, sex and how to communicate with your partner about your desires and needs, and how to find fun and informative events in your city surrounding sex.

    In this episode, we have Maureen McCarthy, Licensed Social Worker and therapist that heal your roots wellness, and our co host, Daniela Galdi. Let’s get into it.

    Maureen, thank you so much for coming back on to join us for another episode today.

    Maureen McCarthy  0:34

    Yea, thanks for having me. Absolutely.

    Kira Yakubov  0:37

    So we can really jump into anything.

    Maureen McCarthy  0:41


    Daniela Galdi  0:43

    I was going to say, let’s get right into it.

    Kira Yakubov  0:46


    Maureen McCarthy  0:49

    Like that’s so broad, though, right? When I was thinking about different things, I’m like, sex. I even talked to other people about it. And like, what do you like to talk about, like with your friends? And I was like, sex, dating, my feelings. I’m like, random things.

    Daniela Galdi  1:09

    Yeah, my feelings are top of the list. Always. Like, you don’t want to sit here and talk about feelings. I don’t know if we can ever be friends.

    Maureen McCarthy  1:19

    Yeah, I am that friend. I think that I am like, I think my close friends know that the depths of my mind are very deep. And I think that kind of reflects in the career I chose. And I’m like, Well, I’m a Pisces. So if you’re not ready to navigate those seas, then I don’t know, this is the destination for you.

    Daniela Galdi  1:43

    Oh, I love it. So yes, we’re gonna talk about sex. And I will, I will share that like, coming out of like a long term relationship, and now going into dating and like, jokingly saying, like, I’m gonna be abstinent for a very long time. Thinking that like, probably that would have happened, but it is. So you know, the importance of sex in your life. And for intimacy reasons, I am totally seeing the value. Now. I think I took that for granted a bit. You know?

    Pep in your step when you’re having sex

    Kira Yakubov  2:12

    and just overall, like, feeling happy. I noticed. Like if there’s like a stretch of time where I haven’t, and then I do, I’m like, Oh, wow. Like, the clouds look really nice today. You realize just how much pep in your step it gives you. So I’m like, I know, before we hopped on, we were talking about kind of like what we learned or didn’t learn in sex ed or even like, from our parents. I gotta say it was like zilch. Like a horrible sex education really was just like STDs. It was STDs and how to put a condom on a penis. And I remember like in my gym class, so it was like the the gym teacher was our sex ed teacher. I don’t know if that’s like the same as everyone else’s school.

    Daniela Galdi  2:57

    Yep, that was for me,

    Kira Yakubov  2:58

    was that the same for both of you?

    Daniela Galdi  2:59

    and a little bit in theology class, which I don’t think should have happened. But

    Maureen McCarthy  3:04

    I had health class because I went to Catholic school. So not sex ed and that there the that was abstinence base, or STIs? Yes. And, you know, fear, fear base. I remember, like, scary posters that were like, yeah, it was like out of 100 people, it was like, all these stick figures. And it was like, what every fourth person has an STI. So people would be like, 1-2-3-4 you have the STI, and

    Kira Yakubov  3:34

    oh my god.

    Maureen McCarthy  3:35

    Those are some of my memories. Of Yeah, and it was the gym teacher that was, you know, an older, older guy that probably, you know, just got stuck with it.

    Kira Yakubov  3:51

    That’s so random. I wonder why they would pick the gym teacher to have this very important part of like education of a child and adolescents life in front of everybody to do that. But like my teacher, they just showed us like childbirth, and just like the horrors and they like really made it seem scary, or the STIs or boys masturbating that was it really like oh, yeah, boys are gonna masturbate that’s totally normal. No big deal nothing about girls masturbating or nothing else or about pleasure even

    Daniela Galdi  4:22

    No you’re so right. I know that I think about it. It was never about a girl masturbating or any female situation of pleasure. It was like went from like, don’t do it straight to if you do it and you get pregnant, it’s awful. And then they get and get all the in between, basically.

    Maureen McCarthy  4:41

    Yes, there was there’s no pleasure component that was missed. I really would have enjoyed just learning that. Like bodies don’t have to, like look one way and like body hair doesn’t have to look One way. Yeah, there’s a lot of that. And a lot of shaming, like, you know, when personal details came out about, and these are at the time, you know, your teenagers to people just sharing about, you know, when people would hook up and talking about intimate details, but also shaming for, like, what people did, how they did it, how they looked when they did it, or what they look like. And it’s like, that created a lot of, I think insecurities like for me. For sure,

    Kira Yakubov  5:34

    yeah, that’s a good point about the body hair, because I am Eastern European. And I was very hairy, as an adolescent. And that was not a fun time. For me. Like I got teased for that a lot. And I wish that that was something that they talked about. And then I remember thinking about when I was like, sixth or seventh grade, it was like, You hooked up, or like, she touched someone’s penis. And it was like, really like calling her a slot. But it was never about like the boy doing something wrong, or shaming him for doing anything sexual. It was always pointed towards the girls.

    Daniela Galdi  6:05

    Can we actually touch on that works? Because now as an adult, going into her late 30s, I had to pause, said that, which is fine. I love aging, actually, but like, going into her late 30s and was talking to somebody the other day? And they said, Yeah, you know, and then that person was a sloth. And I was like, Man, when I was younger, I wish that we had the attitude that we do now. Because are they were they really a slit? Or are they just feel really confident? Wasn’t it couldn’t have been couldn’t have been their choice that like, they wanted to explore this area for themselves, right? And so now as an adult, I’m thinking like, oh, shoot me a slut? And I was like, No, that’s so wild! no, get that out of your head.

    Maureen McCarthy  6:56

    Yea, I love that you brought that up, because I personally love that word and have identified that way. I’ve been called that. and various other similar words since a teenager, I think. And then at some point, when I learned about, like, reclaiming certain words and things like that, I was like, I claim that and I love that, whether it’s actively true in that moment, or like not, but I think that’s often thrown around, along with other words, but again, very stereotypical to do that when it’s like, it’s not done for, like, it’s like a pat on the back for a typical, like, sis, hetero Dude, that’s like, awesome, good for you. But, uh, but not not good for her. But I was like, now I’m gonna claim that back because I feel really empowered when I do. And like a pretty powerful woman. And if that intimidates, you know, a man, I kind of like that.

    Kira Yakubov  8:12

    I love that .

    Daniela Galdi  8:13

    I like that.

    Maureen McCarthy  8:14


    Kira Yakubov  8:17

    I used to wonder, right, like, because when we were teenagers, I used to hear that all the time. She’s a sloth, she’s a sloth. She’s a whore, like, just constantly. And then I was like, thinking I was even talking to one of my friends about this looking back of when we might have been promiscuous as teenagers. Right. Part of that was like, we’re just exploring, right, and just trying to figure out what we like. And we like somebody else. And we want to express it physically, but also that there was a lot of, like, underlying trauma, outside of that, that’s how it was expressed to, or even like, unfortunately, even some sexual assault that it’s like, this almost seems like an easier path is to be promiscuous, or just to do that right off the bat as like a protective mechanism. And then after that, being called a sloth and being shamed over and over, and then like repeating that cycle, and then going into college and drinking. And, you know, it’s like, it’s kind of fucked up, how that path goes, and how other people might perceive it. Until like, maybe you get older or you heal, or you go to therapy and recognize why you might have been doing it. And then I love how you say like reclaiming it, because now it’s like, well, now I have sex because I want to because it feels good. And I don’t give a shit. If someone doesn’t like it, or if they have to ask me like a body count. That’s the worst. That was. I used to hate hate when people would ask stuff like that.

    Daniela Galdi  9:39

    Why do people ask that? I don’t know if I’ve been asked.

    Maureen McCarthy  9:42

    I love if you have not been asked that.

    Have you been asked how many people you’ve been with? (What’s your body count?)

    Kira Yakubov  9:45

    Yeah, yeah,

    Maureen McCarthy  9:47

    honest. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been asked that and I know it was very popular in high school in to I guess called traditional like college Ah age, or that experience, and then at some point maybe that fell off or I stopped hanging out with people that asked me that. Unless Yeah, like a good friend. I’m we’re talking about that. But yeah, when people ask that I always felt like it was coming from the intention of why need to know how many people you’ve been with? Because I need to determine if you are dirty or not. Or if it was that, you know, you as like a woman were with more people then. Like, a man was that that that wasn’t acceptable, or like that wasn’t okay. I feel like that was my experience in mostly like sis hetero dynamics as a teenager into like, early 20s. Until somewhere, maybe someone got the memo to stop asking people that.

    Kira Yakubov  11:01

    Yeah, absolutely. I know. That was that was teenagers and in college, and I agree, I think it’s so they can determine if you’re a slut, or if you’re a good girl, or if they want to date you like putting a moral value on you based on the number of people you have slept with. is so silly.

    Maureen McCarthy  11:22

    Yeah, hopefully, it’s like, you know, what we should have been asking was, have you been tested recently? Yeah. Like a forgotten thing? Like asking, asking needs once, you know, if you’ve been tested conversations around just being having safer sex, that would have been great.

    Daniela Galdi  11:45

    Oh, I definitely agree. Because it’s not easy to ask those and so much easier going into everything. And then also the idea of like, they talked about protection situations, right. But like the fear that at least I experienced around like actually going and getting those things I still carry with me, I think I might have asked here to actually go buy me some things. Like, I still have that fear around me. And you’re so right, you make such a good point marine about like having that those conversations could have been so much more normalized. It could have helped people moving forward into their adulthood.

    Maureen McCarthy  12:26

    I think about being in school, and I was afraid to answer a question about like, what the capital of Pennsylvania was, or something, let alone, you know, like having some of those conversations, then, despite being someone that was pretty open about this stuff, very young. But you know, what I think some of the great like sex educators are doing out there. And I love when they make these posts, they have index cards, and the kids are like, write questions about anything, and the questions are so great. It’s like, Is it normal for my genitals to have hair on them? Or am I supposed to like giving a blowjob? Am I supposed to do that? And like, these are such great questions that if they came across my mind, I don’t know if I would have verbalized that in front of like a class, let alone I wouldn’t have had that option in school, because we didn’t talk about that, and didn’t really talk about that at home, either. So yeah, I think we need all of their arenas to kind of talk about stuff, if that makes sense.

    Talking about sex in a group setting is helpful, but only if it feels safe.

    Kira Yakubov  13:44

    Yea, I mean, it’s tough because I think talking about in a group setting, in some ways is good, because it normalizes it, and everyone can hear the same information. But I think it’s only helpful if it feels safe. Probably like if you’re scared to ask or if you’re nervous to say something, or there’s like people in class or bullying or the teachers coming off in a shameful way, or like, there’s clearly a stance they’re taking on something, then it’s probably not helpful. Right. So and but I love that like writing the questions down, like there has to be this level of like safety to even ask a question and then the teacher has to feel comfortable and equipped to answer it. I don’t know that my team and my gym teacher in middle school was equipped to answer the questions that we would have been asking them at all.

    And like having it talked about at houses is the tough part, right? Like we I think they probably do it in school because it’s like General Information everybody should have and that we can’t necessarily rely on like parents or caregivers to like, explain that or talk about it because they may not have ever received it or they’re uncomfortable with it, or they just don’t want to, or they only have a particular stance on it. So I think it is kind of hard to figure out a very inclusive and helpful and beneficial safe way that everyone is getting information and not just leaving it to only at home, because everyone’s going to get a mixed bag at that point.

    Maureen McCarthy  15:20

    Yeah. And then you know, they’re going to be online, looking up some porn, and they’re like, fine. Well, I don’t know what this is, let me google it. But I can find,

    Kira Yakubov  15:32


    Maureen McCarthy  15:32

    just, you know, watching porn, just because and things like that. I know I look for I like make anything a window. Like for my kid, if he brings something up. I’m like, the windows opening to talk about this. And not that I tried to turn everything that way. But I do try to look for those windows where it’s like, we can have a conversation out of this. So it was like, we have those conversations about porn. And I’m like, Yeah, that’s probably gonna come up as at some point, I’m like, so and you’re gonna pull it up, someone else is gonna be like, Look at this. And, you know, just, I always look for those, those moments to just kind of take it and have a conversation. And because my kids grown up with me being like that, plus, I think what I do for a living, that’s going to be I hope, normal for him, so he can feel comfortable in those conversations. And also be an advocate for people to let alone himself.

    Kira Yakubov  16:44

    I mean, it sounds like you are definitely creating that safe open space as a parent, which is awesome. I wish I had something even remotely that look like,

    Maureen McCarthy  16:53

    yeah, we even talked about, you know, um like, with him. I’ve been like, you know, some adults, like don’t talk about this stuff. Because they feel really, like embarrassed, they feel really uncomfortable. They don’t know what to say. So they either can say the wrong thing, or something that doesn’t feel good. And then we’re just like, avoid it entirely. Or like, again, I’m just not gonna talk about this. I was. And he that’s something he was like, yeah. So I don’t know if that’s something he experienced, personally, to at some point, I mean, probably. But I mean, he’s lived in a household that’s had, like, I don’t know, like condoms in jars and like lube in the drawers sitting out. Like, it’s just like, these are things that like, that don’t need to be hidden away. Right. So

    Kira Yakubov  17:50

    yeah. And I feel like our generation is probably just gonna do a better job, generally speaking, just because we are like, more normalized to it. Like I’m thinking about on never, ever forget this. This lesson that my mom gave me when I was little, like the sex talk. It was, I think it was like eight or nine years old that came out of the shower, and she like, told me about periods. And then she was like, Okay, this is coming from like a very conservative, Eastern European immigrant. She’s like, you are not allowed to have sex before marriage. And I was like, Oh, why? She’s like, because it’s wrong. I’m like, but you know, you’re a kid. Like, why? Why? Why? Why? Why? And so she’s like, let me give you let me give you an example. I was like, okay, she’s, so she’s like, do you know when we go get a carton of milk at the store? And this is back when they used to have a seal under the cap. So she’s like, you know, when we go get a carton of milk at the store, and we take off the cap, and if there’s no seal, would you drink that milk? I was like, I don’t know. Maybe not. She’s like, why wouldn’t you drink it? I’m like, I don’t know. Maybe it’s dirty. She’s like, Yeah, that’s a woman’s virginity before marriage. I was like, Oh, my God. So my worth and virginity was compared to a used milk carton and it being dirty. And that just stayed with me for a long time. And till I was like a teenager that my mom and dad were like, once he saw me dating, they’re like, “yeah, if you have sex before marriage, you’re gonna put us straight to the grave. We will die.” I’m like “on the on the moment in the instant?” they’re like, “yes.” Like okay, cool. So I can’t ever tell you anything. Oh, yeah. thick layers of guilt

    Maureen McCarthy  19:38

    Yeah, Kira, I think you and I both grew up in. And mind you, I think most of mine came from, like the school because I did have 13 years of Catholic schooling. That was there was so much rooted in virginity that it fed into like that. shame and that guilt and those stereotypes like throughout high school that, you know, it was like, Oh, well, she’s not a virgin or she’s been with other people and things like that. And it held such a weight, I think in in a lot of different ways and just really spilled into how all these other things were viewed like me as a sexual being. I’m sure it wasn’t the only one.

    Kira Yakubov  20:32

    No, of course not everyone’s experiencing and feeling it. It’s just unfortunate that it wasn’t as accepted or normalized. And it was just so feared.

    Daniela Galdi  20:48

    How do we talk about porn? But like, how does that even happen? Like, what do you how do you even look for it as a person, let alone a child and an adult, a child like not, I shouldn’t say a child, but a person who is exploring these things.

    How to talk to your children about porn

    Kira Yakubov  21:28

    So I think it’s gonna be different between an adult and a kid who’s like, exploring and curious and finding things out for the first time. Right? Like, as a kid, if you’re going to Google something, and just find whatever comes up, and that’s like, your first impression of what’s happening, like, you’re probably going to take them at face value. Like, this is what people do when they have sex. These are the expectations, especially like, heterosexual porn is going to like, I can’t imagine when I was younger looking. I was like, Okay, so the girl is always moaning really loud. From the second she’s touched. And she comes in like five minutes. And this, this and that. And the guy does this. And I was like, okay, so I guess that’s what’s supposed to happen. And like, you go into it, and then you have experiences like, Oh, this is not, this is not lining up the way I thought it was going to. So I mean, I think it’s tough. I mean, Maureen might have a better handle on how to talk to a child about porn, because I don’t have kids. But I would imagine like, giving them that heads up, like, hey, what you see is not necessarily what’s real. And to not take that as what’s going to happen necessarily, or that you should be doing or feeling or experiencing this is like, I think a huge part of it. And then like not shaming, like, they’re going to be curious, right? Like, it’s normal and common for kids to seek these things out. So I don’t know, Marie, what do you think? Is there more tips on how to like, discuss it?

    Maureen McCarthy  22:58

    Yeah, I think all that is really important. And I was trying to recall at least just for that personal conversation I had with my son, whatever, whatever that was it I was like, Oh, the windows open, but I can’t recall it now. So when we talked about it. I you know, it was like, you’re gonna come across this probably soon, you may have already come across it. And he was like, Yeah, that was like, it wasn’t like, you know, maybe some parents present day and past would be like, our get, like, start yelling or oh my gosh, like, No, you can’t look at this. And so we talked about that shame piece. Some people watch porn and like porn, and that’s cool. That’s fine. And some people don’t watch it. Some people don’t like it and that’s fine too. Some people in the porn do that for that third job, and they do sex or believe we even have that conversation. And I think I mentioned that, you know, people that do sex work, catch a lot of heat for that. And I was like, it’s their job and they shouldn’t be shamed either. So we had that conversation. But also, you know, kind of porn is is something that adults are those are like adults doing that. So we had conversations about it’s never okay. Photos, videos of kids, teenagers, like minors to be going around that sidebar. That was a huge thing when I was in high school, just people sending out nude pictures, and it was always of the local girls that got out. And that got out to every single school, public, private, whatever. are so kind of like touched on that, because that was such a big thing too. When since when I was in high school, we had an assembly about it and everything about sexting and things like that. So, um, yeah, I think I tried to like normalize, validate, and just be open to like what he had to say. But I think it was a lot of me talking. And I was like, let me let me just touch on these few things. But I’m always like, you know, if you have any questions or comments, or like, I don’t know, something happens, like, feel free to ask me I was like, It’s okay. And I was like, in sometimes you might not want to ask me, because I’m mom, you might want to talk to someone else. But that’s okay. It was like, as long as you feel like you have someone to talk to. So yeah, I, you know, I think, at least today talking about generations changing to with porn, like, there’s a lot more like feminine directed porn. And there’s, there’s one porn star, I can’t recall her name, but she’s also like a sex therapist, or she’s a sex educator. So don’t quote me. But, but she has like both of those, like, informed backgrounds to kind of just bring it all together. And I think she even came out with, like, videos, or well, it’s not DVDs anymore. But things you can buy, that are more so it’s porn, but it’s educational. It’s like sex ed, too. And I think that’s a really cool concept as well. Like, you’re not getting like this. Like, this is directed like this is acting majority of it is like, it’s, it’s more real. It’s like reality based or for people that are curious about like, Well, how do I do this? Or like, what do I do? Like, what am I bought? What’s my body? Do my hands do? So there’s a lot more out there. That’s, it’s, it’s better information than just all the, you know, homemade videos and things like that.

    Kira Yakubov  27:21

    With the scrambled porn on channel 99,

    Daniela Galdi  27:24

    you had the Hotbox, you had everything


    Kira Yakubov  27:26

    Oh, yeah, catch a boob in the website. But that made me think about, there’s this website called O.school that actually does educational videos and prompts and worksheets, which is phenomenal. And I get like an email newsletter, and I think the one was how to talk dirty like during sex, and it gave like, all these different prompts and body parts and what you could say and how to respond. I was like, Wow, that’s so awesome. Like, that’s, you know, to actually like, teach you to go through it and not just like, watch a porn and like, hear what they say and think that’s what you’re supposed to say.

    Orgasm Order Form

    Maureen McCarthy  28:05

    I love that website. One and two, I refer to it a lot. Three, did you see they have an orgasm order form, it’s like you’re ordering takeout, you can tell them if you do not want mayonnaise on your same score. A little extra that it gets down to the point of like, how you want to be touched down to like, level of pressure, or do you like tapping and different motions and things like that. So it’s great, I forget in that one, if there’s also a piece that kind of ties in with, you know, the dirty talk, because some people definitely, like don’t want to be called something certain things or don’t want their genitals to be called certain things. And if you do, that’s like, the light switches off and it’s just like, next thing you know, you’re checked out and you’re like, I’m gonna need to take a break. So that that was a it’s so informative, and anything that’s like an inventory or an order form I think is always helpful tools to like, empower and get to know yourself, but also communicate that to a partner. Like, I know I like texted that order form. Before I was like, I know you know a lot of this already but like, here you go, man like I don’t like you should send this out to you know that that sex geek in you

    Daniela Galdi  29:44

    That is very

    Kira Yakubov  29:45

    I love that but I did see, it was like how to tell or show your partner what you want or don’t want. Because sometimes we don’t even know Right? Like all this is through exploration. Like we might think we might like the This particular thing or think we will, and then when we’re actually confronted with it, or we’re trying, it was actually kind of my cup of tea. I wouldn’t have guessed this. And like having those prompts to even, like, click through like, No, I don’t want to try that. I do want to try that I’m open to trying this, this is a hard, no, let’s definitely do this. And like showing that to your partner, whoever you’re having sex with, I think is like, pretty empowering how you’re saying and pretty cool to even like, think about it. And like, have these different ideas to try out. And if you don’t feel comfortable, like saying all these things, that’s a great way to like, tell someone without saying it, too. And it’s great for couples like especially for couples therapy, who are like trying to, whether it’s like reconnect, or try something different or explore or even like getting over shame. It’s a great way to have like this external prompt to go through things and just talk about it without even trying any of it. It’s like what comes up in your mind when you like you see, like, also watching porn together. And like having a whole dialogue of what that means and like getting to know each other better. And like our experiences with it outside of that, so I love that site. Yeah, like,

    Daniela Galdi  31:08

    Will you be okay, when you come home and I have a swing installed?

    Kira Yakubov  31:14

    Hot wax across the room

    Daniela Galdi  31:18

    Dinner’s ready, dessert’s there, and…. we’ll be okay. We need to make sure there’s mutual agreement and consent there.

    Kira Yakubov  31:32

    It’s so funny.

    Maureen McCarthy  31:33

    That’s so great. I did actually get some lube that they were like, you can put this on ice cream if you want.

    Daniela Galdi  31:39


    Maureen McCarthy  31:43

    I would give them a plug. I can’t think of who it is. I don’t know if it’s it might be Joe, I’m not sure. But, you know, they had like grim brew lay and just all these, like decadent dessert flavors. And it was like It’s sugar free too! Cool, multi use.

    Daniela Galdi  32:05

    I love that.

    Erotica Saloon in Philadelphia

    Kira Yakubov  32:06

    I remember when I was What year was this think it was like when I was 25 or 26. And like, gotta have a relationship. And I was like, I want to do more stuff alone. Or like some of my friends like didn’t want to do certain things, but I wanted to and I was like trying to overcome this, like social anxiety and phobia. So I was like, let me find stuff that’s like really gonna make me uncomfortable that I’m just gonna do to get over it. So this is how I torture myself. But so I found this event in Philly. I don’t know if they’re still doing it because of what happened with COVID and everything. But it was called the erotica, the Erotic Literary Saloon in Philly. And it was like every third Thursday of the month, it was held by a sexologist, and a sex therapist, and she would have people come. And she’d have like, those anonymous questions at the beginning, people would write them down and answer them in the beginning of the event, and then other people would come and they would just read their stories, like their erotic poems or stories, or fantasies. And then people would ask questions, and I thought it was so cool. And I went alone, like, met all these interesting people. And it felt like a community, like if you would have walked in the room, I would have never thought that these 50 people would be friends or talk to each other. But then as the night went on, like, everyone was very welcoming and opening open about it. And so like, drag some of my friends to go after that. And they’re like, We don’t ever want to do this. But I thought it was awesome. So I don’t know if there’s other events that either of you have gone to or there’s like things like that. That might be I don’t know, that were like, kind of uncomfortable or interesting in that way.

    Maureen McCarthy  33:46

    Yes, I’ve been to a fetish con. And I’d also more recently was at I don’t know what it would have been called but it was event an event that was at a hotel so like pretty much the one floor of the hotel you would go in a different room and there’d be like a different vendor their. So it’s very like intimate to because you’d be with a small group and I was with a good friend and also colleague that is same kind of interest and work with like sexuality and public health and things like that. So we feel very comfortable being with her in those spaces. So the one room you know, you would get like sex toy demonstrations. And someone was able like to try one like if they felt comfortable like in front of you and everybody else felt comfortable in the room. So I thought that was a pretty interesting like experience. There’s something about being in those environments where people are so open and vulnerable about something that holds So much like history of shame and guilt and like make yourself small kinds of things that is really empowering. Like anytime I go to any type of conference, whether it’s as intimate and open as like that, or if it is more of a professionally, like driven track, I always leave, we’re always we’d always walk out me and this friend and colleague and be like, we’re so liberated and we’re stimulated. Dreaming it like those two words, right? Like, right now. And I definitely miss like those spaces, because unfortunately, I feel like I don’t go as much to as many things given, you know, like, COVID, and things like that. Or maybe I’m not aware of as many. But I miss them dearly, because they’re just such a great space to experience and not even just your own, but just just seeing other people like experience other things do. It’s just so cool.

    Daniela Galdi  36:04

    That sounds

    Kira Yakubov  36:04

    I love events like that.

    Daniela Galdi  36:07

    Yeah, that definitely sounds awesome. I, I would love to experience that. And the only thing I can really think about is like growing up as and going to college board. And then performing is like the performing arts, we have to do a lot of work around like intimacy. And that’s really it. But, you know, it exposes you to the feelings around it. I felt like that’s what I gained. But in terms of things like sex toys, that wasn’t something that was ever you know, that that was unless it was part of the concept, right, but I love that they have events around this. I don’t know. I’m so curious now. Like, what? If you feel comfortable sharing? Maureen? Were there things that you remember from it that that maybe you didn’t know? Or that just like, intrigued you?

    Maureen McCarthy  36:59

    Hmm. I think what was great about like, when I’m shopping, I like a hands on experience. So if I’m being able to, like, you know, you’re not online shopping, and you’re like, Yeah, this toy looks great. They say it has 10 different speeds. That sounds awesome. Many options, but you don’t know, like, what you’re not holding it or feeling what, you know, what the sensations are. So just being able to get hands on and like, you know, play with like, the different toys essentially, you know, you could kind of like just mess around with them. And and, I don’t know, ask questions and things like that. I feel like in that experience, there was a lot I learned about lube. But then the way that was different, more, so like, ingredient wise, I just remember the brands, especially ones that you know, we’re trying to promote if and if it’s like edible lube and things like that just like healthy ingredients. And such a key piece about like, knowing what we’re putting in our body. Not just like toys and who we’re with, but like just like lubes and things like that. I thought that was very interesting to me, because there was like a very big science to it that I was not aware of. So they gave some interesting feedback there regarding ingredients and things like that with lube. Yeah, I’m trying to think of anything else. But I think it’s a it’s a different experience when it’s something hands on versus Okay, I’m gonna Google some things and see what I can find because I want to try something new. It’s like, I’m here holding all these toys like pressing all the buttons putting my neck like Man, they’re giving us taste tests of all the lubes and like, flavors and arousal gels that you just need a teeny drop of and you could like feel intense sensations. So you’re getting this horrible, like engaging all your senses, which is such an important element to sex, let alone life and being present and experiencing it.

    What’s the difference between going to a sex shop and searching online?

    Kira Yakubov  39:32

    Absolutely. I love that because it is completely different of Googling something versus being in person. So I know on South Street, at least they used to there’s all again, Philadelphia, there’s a lot of sex shops on South Street, and a lot of them hold classes, like different kinds of classes and I used to drag my friends to all this stuff. There was one class it was like deepthroating at a deep throat and I went there and like before they had the class they would like you know give you a tour around the sex shop and, like, show you all these different toys and different things. But not even just toys. But there was one where it was like electricity. Like you could have something that was like electricity and like shock you, or like nipple clamps and like things you just might not have ever thought of or you wouldn’t Google, but you’re like in person and you’re feeling it and experiencing it and having those classes, right. It’s like kind of silly, but then you’re bonding and you’re being vulnerable, and like, learning all this new stuff. So I think I love that I think we should, I’m gonna look to see if there’s some of the sex workshops around Philly or PA to see if we can post it with us. Because I think it is a great experience. Like, it’s a great way to learn great way to bond whether it’s with a partner or friends, or if you’re going alone to meet other people doing it, and just exploring. So like, you want something to do on a Friday night, go to a sex shop, go through it and find some cool stuff to do.

    Daniela Galdi  40:56

    Absolutely, especially with what we were all talking about earlier. And I found myself saying like, there’s the fear of rounded and, you know, curiosity, but never feeling comfortable to like speak up about it. But like, I’m very comfortable walking into a class like, that makes me feel, you know, I’m not I’m not walking in there the only one who doesn’t go maybe certain things or maybe wants to learn more about certain things, you know. So I love that idea. Because it definitely adds that comfort level.

    Kira Yakubov  41:22

    If I find some, will you go with me?

    Daniela Galdi  41:24

    Absolutely. I can’t say no to that.

    Kira Yakubov  41:24

    I’m coming!

    Daniela Galdi  41:24

    I would say Maureen, I’m prety sure she’s coming too

    Maureen McCarthy  41:32

    I miss that stuff. So much.

    Kira Yakubov  41:35


    Daniela Galdi  41:36

    Alright, well, if anyone needs us, we’ll be in class the next few weekends.

    Kira Yakubov  41:41

    And they have them all over. Right. It’s not just Philly. I think if you I mean, there’s stuff on even Eventbrite because like, since I moved to Florida, like I gotta find different activities and stuff to do and meet people. So I went on Eventbrite, and there was all these different ones. And the one was like, teaching you how to ride like, how to ride on top like a cowgirl. And it said things to bring kneepads and a pillow and I thought that was great. So it’s like, even in any city you’re in, if you just like Google some of these events, I’m sure that there’ll be listed on there. And you can be brave and go and have a good time.

    Daniela Galdi  42:17

    I love that. Maybe we should like make kneepads, the new like style trend. So you don’t have to be like, Hold on, wait one second, please. Get my knee pads on, I need to practice this. But I thought, and I joke, but you know, you never know somebody might need them. So no judgement, you see someone walking around with them.

    Maureen McCarthy  42:40

    We could like the bedazzle them or decorate them. You might lose traction with the beads, but I love some crystals gemstones.

    Kira Yakubov  42:55

    Oh, that’s so funny. And I remember when I was going through my sex therapy program, there was a portion, I think it was called the Star part of like, the certifications, like sometimes they have some of these workshops, and where they like just show different kinds of porn, and you’re watching it in the class with your classmates. So I think even that was a cool experience of watching this near strangers or other people like 10am and wearing all this different stuff and like wanting to come home and like tell all my friends like, you know, it wasn’t a what I watched today. Do you ever think about doing that? And they’re like, Okay, this is like, we got to stop. This is enough.

    The Museum of Sex in New York

    Maureen McCarthy  43:36

    That’s awesome. You know, when I went to the sex museum, or museum of sex in New York, they the exhibit at that time was like porn throughout the ages. And it was just so interesting to see like the earliest clips, you know, black and white. I mean, extremely taboo at that time. And it was just interesting to even see like, the decor and like what they were wearing. It was, it was pretty, it was pretty neat. They also had jello shots that were like nipples or like food. It was it was so cool. They have like a pop up bar and stuff plus the store. So it was a neat experience.

    Daniela Galdi  44:29

    These are definitely great resources that you’re both sharing, and I wish that I could not stop thinking like, Oh, my next date. I really do. Like, I don’t want to wait till I have a partner I kind of want be like, hey, look, we’re taking a trip to New York. And this is what’s happening because I’m intrigued. You know what I mean? And, you know, I don’t know if I’ll do that, but that like events and classes and I didn’t even know there was a VM so that’s amazing. I think these are so such great resources.

    Kira Yakubov  44:58

    There’s plenty out there.

    Maureen McCarthy  45:01

    Yeah, I would love that to be your next date. Personally, I would love that for you. And if that person was like down with it and excited about it, I would love that person for you.

    Daniela Galdi  45:12

    I’m gonna throw it out there one day, and we’ll see, I’ll wait till the 3rd date. I’ll throw that out; see if they bite.

    Maureen McCarthy  45:25

    always recommend dates to like a local toy shop or something like that. Regardless of, you know, if the couple is like newer, or just hooking up or married for 30 years, like, um, like, it’s fun to see, you know, to watch your partner kind of like what they gravitate towards, or what they’re picking up or, you know, like, look at this, like, what about this?I think that that’s a great date.

    Daniela Galdi  45:57

    I love that. And you’re actually reminding me that there is a place in Philly, and I can’t remember if it is South Street, but I have to find out and get it in the show notes too. But they do they create like [BDSM] clothes and material and the different types of like, I don’t know if they will be called toys, but different types of materials like that, that is available in Philly too there’s a shop and it’s like, so I remember going in, there was a lot of leather. And I felt that people and I’m not, you know, no stereotype, but really, there was a lot, but it was like, a whole artistry to it. And it was amazing. But also you can get these like custom made, because I imagine that’s a situation to like, how you you know how someone buys pants. Right? It’s important that it’s customized. You’re ruining the experience.

    Kira Yakubov  46:47


    Maureen McCarthy  46:48

    yeah, I think that’s a good investment. If you’re looking for some, like, you know, which is can be a bit costly. But yeah, some things you know, that are not custom made, or made with like good quality, whether it be toys, or like harnesses and outfits and things like that, you will find will break don’t fit your body, right, because it isn’t custom made for you or is uncomfortable and irritating, which you know, all that stuff can be can take from the experience too. So that sounds like an awesome place. I guess. Like I go to Philly soon and hit up a couple places.

    Kira Yakubov  47:31

    Yeah, but I think anywhere, I’m sure there’s places anywhere you go if you just walk, like when my husband and I go traveling when we go to like a different country or different place and have like a big city. And if I see a sexshop like all let’s go in to see what kind of stuff they have here. Like, I think the best one so far was in Barcelona, they had these statues and they had all these different kinds of like costumes, and toys and like jewels to put on everything. And I thought a fun one was was was like a butt plug with like a squirrel tail coming out of it

    Daniela Galdi  48:04

    That’s adrable

    Kira Yakubov  48:11

    so I think every place around the world, you know, if it’s like a bigger city, or even smaller, they have like some sort of shop or some kind of place where they have some of the stuff because people have sex everywhere.

    Maureen McCarthy  48:24

    Yeah, that that’d be interesting to see if they’re like kind of what is like, I don’t want to say trending, but like or like maybe what’s common because I imagine the inventory would probably look different. Or maybe that’s my assumption. Based on like, you know, what is selling? That’d be cool. Maybe that’ll be that’s a bucket list, you know, go to all the different like continents and certain countries or big cities and see see, you could do like dissertation on that. Oh, yeah.

    Daniela Galdi  48:59

    Hey, maybe maybe that’s something that gets up on the Heal Your Roots Wellness site one day, a little a little tour, a little shop tour of where to go find these things. Resources for this. Oh, just throwing it out there. And then if any of these right and if any of these places or products then want to you know sponsor the podcast. We’re not sponsored by any of them right now, but Hey, why not? If it’s helping the experienced.

    Kira Yakubov  49:28

    Listen I’ll do a Netflix special traveling around the world going in different sex shops. If somebody wants to pay me I would be more than happy. You can all come, and it’ll be a whole thing.

    Maureen McCarthy  49:40

    I’ll be a sidekick.

    Daniela Galdi  49:42

    Yep, so yes. Okay. These are great ideas. I really hope that we can like put them into play.

    Kira Yakubov  49:47

    Yeah. Is a there’s a show on Netflix called Somebody Feed Phil. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it. It’s like everybody. Everybody Loves Raymond is the producer of that. And he just goes around different countries and cities and just eating and Talking about his experience. And so we could totally make that I don’t know what we would call it but sex shops and experiences around the world.

    Maureen McCarthy  50:07

    I don’t know why I’m picturing myself in like, a, like a sidecar with like a helmet on and like we have like, all kinds of toyslike in the trunk that are just like bouncing around

    Kira Yakubov  50:23

    And our dogs are with us.

    Daniela Galdi  50:25

    I see this and then I see the little like squirrel tail at the ends of like your motor vehicle. we’re painting a whole picture here for everyone.

    Kira Yakubov  50:36

    Oh my god.

    Maureen McCarthy  50:38

    That just kind of seems like life goals. I don’t know. It’s like, we’ll have to start a vision board for this.

    Kira Yakubov  50:45

    Yeah, I like this. This is a good idea. And then obviously, we can eat in between all of this so we can add in the food part.

    Maureen McCarthy  50:52

    Of course.

    Kira Yakubov  50:53

    Thank you so much for being on with us again today. I think this was I think this is going to be a great episode. And a lot of laughs a lot of great insight information. I hope people feel like this was listening to a conversation with a couple of friends just talking about sex and their experiences. So thank you so much for being on Maureen.

    Maureen McCarthy  51:11

    Yeah, thanks for having me. I’ll talk sex anytime.

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